Italy opens probe into death of 'bunga bunga' witness

The Associated Press

Italy is investigating the death of a former model and witness at Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial, with a newspaper suggesting on Saturday she may have been poisoned with a radioactive substance.

Citing Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco, Italian news agency ANSA reported that 34-year-old Imane Fadil died March 1 at a Milan hospital, where she had been treated since January 29 exhibiting "symptoms of poisoning".

Model Imane Fadil arrives at Milan's court during the trial of the ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute on April 16, 2012.

Speaking at a political meeting in the southern Basilicata, Berlusconi said he was "sorry when a young person dies".

Ms Fadil was writing a book about her experiences at the sex parties and the manuscript was picked up by Italian authorities after her death, local media reports.

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FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 file photo, Imane Fadil smiles as she leaves the court in Milan, Italy. News agency ANSA reported that a toxicology test had found that she had been killed by a "mix of radioactive substances". "I never met this person and never spoke to her".

"What I read about her declarations always made me think that they were contrived and absurd", he said. Doctors have yet to identify what caused her death, but said there had been "several anomalies" in her blood samples and medical records.

Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence.

In October 2010, it emerged that Mr Berlusconi had called a police station asking for the release of a 17-year-old girl, Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug.

She was being held for theft and was also said to have attended his so-called "bunga-bunga" parties.

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